Jonathan Laidlaw QC

Jonathan Laidlaw QC

“a superstar” - Legal 500 2017

“as big a name as there is” - Chambers UK 2018
Year of call: 1982 QC: 2008
For enquiries please call: 020 7353 5324 or email vcard cv linkedin save

Criminal Defence

Chambers rate Jonathan Laidlaw QC as one of their star silks in crime and he is a previous recipient of the crime silk of the year award.

During his time as Treasury Counsel, Jonathan Laidlaw QC gained almost unrivalled experience in the most demanding and serious cases brought in this country during that 15 year period: from the first war crimes prosecution; the PIRA bombing of Canary Wharf trial; the Official Secrets Act prosecutions of both Tomlinson and Shayler; the Jill Dando murder trials; the CCRC reference to the Court of Appeal in the case of Jeremy Bamber; the prosecution of corrupt police officers; the prosecution of Barot and others (the al Qa’eda cell who had planned pre 9/11 attacks in the US and then bombings in this country); the al Qa’eda attack in London and on Glasgow Airport through to and including, the prosecuting of allegations of corruption against a CPS lawyer; a Saudi Prince for murder; a former BA employee charged with terrorist offences; and Delroy Grant (the ‘Night Stalker’). He also appeared in the House of Lords and frequently represented the Attorney General in the Court of Appeal. Jonathan Laidlaw QC’s involvement in prosecution work extended to advising various Government department and the intelligence agencies.

More recently Jonathan Laidlaw QC has acted for the UK Government in Karadzic’s case in the Hague; for the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in the Miranda/Guardian case before the Divisional Court; for JC Decaux; for Rebekah Brooks in the phone-hacking trial; for Andrew Fitch-Holland in the cricket match-fixing trial; for a major property developer in a series of long-running trials in Liverpool; Keith Vaz; and for TSS in the police corruption enquiry. The 2015 edition of Chambers and Partners said, “he is fantastic. He’s the hardest-working individual I have ever come across. The work he does is phenomenal. He is top-drawer.” The 2016 edition says, “he is very level-headed and always incredibly calm in a crisis. He is a forceful and effective advocate who is a joy to work with” and “he is an excellent advocate who is calm and who gives superb client care.” The 2017 guide describes Jonathan Laidlaw QC as a “stand out silk … now specialising only in private defence work which spans the area of general crime, business crime, fraud and regulatory work, among others”. Sources described him as “superb”, “a class act” and “incredibly impressive”. The 2018 guide says, “As big a name as there is … He’s straightforward in his approach and radiates authority in court.” 

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